CPD Classics: WALL-E (2008) Review

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WALL-E (2008)

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Starring (mostly voice) actors:
Ben Burtt
Elissa Knight
Jeff Garlin
Fred Willard
John Ratzenberger
Kathy Najimy
Sigourney Weaver

Music by Thomas Newman

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios

Running time: 98 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The story follows a robot named WALL-E, who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future. He falls in love with another robot named EVE, who also has a programmed task, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity.

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My Opinion:

This will probably be about the most recent CPD Classic as films need to stand the test of time a bit first. However, I do admit that there are occasionally “instant classics”. To me, WALL-E was indeed an instant classic.

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I get super excited about every single Pixar movie that comes out (I LOVE Pixar!) but WALL-E was the one I was the most eager to see as, from clips released before the film, WALL-E looked so completely adorable & loveable plus the film sounded like a very interesting (and brave) concept. And sci-fi! Yes! I even went into London to see it as early as possible because I could NOT wait. And, boy, was it worth the journey!

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The entire beginning of WALL-E, before he leaves Earth, is an absolute masterpiece. Complete & total perfection. Sometimes I put the DVD in just to watch the beginning again. And again. From the second the Hello Dolly music starts to when we’re zoomed down to Earth & see WALL-E continuing to do his job on this desolate planet – Oh my god – There’s a big smile on my face just writing about it. Then the very grown-up Thomas Newman score kicks in and it’s quite dark and almost eerie and you know you’re in for a very different kind of kids’ film. Then, bloody hell – there’s no talking! For AGES. And it’s brilliant! Leave it up to Pixar to get away with that. The beginning of WALL-E is just so… I dunno. Epic! Cinematic! (It’s times like these I wish I was a proper writer!). Like in the old days where they made these sweeping epic dramas like Gone With The Wind & shit. The beginning of WALL-E is easily up there with things like that and I don’t think it gets the credit it deserves, probably because it’s an animated film. And sci-fi. The start of WALL-E, in my opinion, blows away every movie of the past ten years. Probably even 20. Maybe even 30!

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WALL-E, as a character, can’t get any better. Completely loveable and adorable. I never thought I could love another little robot as much as R2-D2! How can these two little robots that don’t even talk (much) have way more personality & character than most human beings? I love WALL-E’s childlike innocence – it’s so genuine & pure and makes you wish that every human could have that same curiosity and thirst for knowledge & experience & love. Love! Because WALL-E is a love story and, I don’t care what anyone thinks, is probably my all-time favorite cinematic love story (it’s close between this and Carl & Ellie in Up. Woohoo Pixar!). I found WALL-E & EVE’s romance more genuine & believable than any in those girly romantic comedy type movies that mostly get on my nerves. I get annoyed with people who moan that WALL-E is some preachy movie about the environment and how fat & lazy & wasteful we all are. Really? Um, no. That’s just the backdrop for a unique love story & a story about appreciating the little things in life. Argh! These people are missing the whole point!! (Sorry. I get passionate about WALL-E because I’ve had a lot of people tell me they do NOT understand my love for it.) 😉

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Unfortunately, (and I hate to say anything at all negative about this movie) once WALL-E leaves Earth, the rest of the film just doesn’t live up to the beginning. But it would be very hard to match the brilliance of the start so I can’t complain too much. I really really want to love the rest of the movie as much but it goes downhill with the appearance of the humans, who aren’t that likeable (mainly because they’re not very developed but, obviously, the movie is focusing on developing the personalities of WALL-E & EVE). There are still wonderful scenes (the space dance with Thomas Newman’s beautiful “Define Dancing”) and anything involving the other robots (especially cute little clean-freak M-O).

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Yeah – I just mentioned Thomas Newman again just like in my review for The Shawshank Redemption. Is it a coincidence that he’s scored some of my all-time favorite films? I think not! He’s brilliant and I love the WALL-E score, although much of it is very different from other scores he’s done. It’s very quirky but I think it fits the film perfectly. Because, I admit, it’s a quirky film and I know it’s not for everyone. But I adore it and the beginning is a true masterpiece that I honestly don’t think I’ll see another film come even close to topping in my lifetime. That’s why WALL-E is a CPD Classic.

My Rating: 9.5/10

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55 thoughts on “CPD Classics: WALL-E (2008) Review

  1. This is my favorite Pixar movie (Up is a close second) and I think it plays out more like a Pixar short feature than the full features, maybe because of the lack of dialogue you mentioned and the type of action or movement involved. Great review!

  2. This is definitely a classic, of sorts. Such a sweet story with some well developed characters. I will also agree that the second half fails to match the first.

    I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say Wall-E’s first half is the best filmmaking in the last three decades, but I will agree this is an excellent flick.

  3. I liked Wall-E until it left earth and then I totally lost interest. Still not really a favourite of mine but one of the better Pixar ones.

  4. Love it!! (The review and the movie)

    IMO I think this is OVERALL a better movie than UP but the opening in UP is probably my favorite and most loved piece of cinema ever. Fuck – my eyes just started watering thinking about it… DAMMIT!!!

    • Lol. I believe more in true love between two robots… ; ) You know I freaking LOVE the beginning of Up as well! : ) But definitely prefer WALL-E as a movie overall – Up was a bit weird after that opening (which I’d also call a masterpiece at that point).

    • I know! I want my own WALL-E! So cute. : ) And, wow – thanks! Another award?! : ) *MWAH!* I’ll swing by your blog tonight – I have lots of catching up to do on everyone’s blog! Always falling behind. : (

  5. So so right. Instant classic all the way. I know I have mentioned this in other reviews of the film around these parts, but my three year old is a Wall-E nut. I’ve probably seen the opening fifteen times in the past three months. It never gets old. That exact moment when Newman’s score hits in the opening is brilliant. It’s the sort of shit you teach in a film score class.
    Great review!

    • Thanks! : ) And yay! You’re one of the few to totally agree with me (although many do love the film). I know nothing whatsoever about filmmaking but, yeah – it SEEMS like the start of this just does everything SO right. : )

      • Haha, I think you can give yourself more credit than that. You know PLENTY about filmmaking. If I learned anything in getting a film studies degree, it is that anybody who watches a lot of movies knows all they need to know, they just aren’t aware of some of the language people who have self-righteously deemed themselves ‘film scholars’ use.
        So the opening of Wall-E uses the joyful and comforting sounds of Hello Dolly. What we see feels beautiful because we associate it with the song. When that music changes to the Newman, his score uses brooding and dissonant tones to counteract the joy of Hello Dolly. So we get this juxtaposition of optimism versus pessimism in the film music before we even know what is going on. As that score goes on and we see Wall-E doing his job, it seems a little haunting. This little guy alone doing this impossible job, right? Imagine if the music never changed. Imagine if the Hello Dolly was there the entire time? We’d get a different feeling, wouldn’t we? In a way, you could say the movie is ABOUT Wall-E fighting off the horrors of that Newman score by continuing to populate the world with the song from Hello Dolly.
        But that would probably be waaaaay too pretentious of a reading, and besides it is not any more valid than you saying that the opening puts a big smile on your face. Because there is nothing fake or pretentious in that. In a way, it much more clearly conveys the point!

      • Yeah. That’s EXACTLY what I meant to say. Lol! ; ) I’d love to actually learn about filmmaking but sometimes wonder if that would make films lose their magic for me a bit…

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